A note on the letters. The transcripts may include abbreviations or spelling inconsistencies and errors. We have chosen to transcribe the letters as they appear so that they are an accurate reflection of John Oldfield’s style and personality. We have also included his original page numbering. Where language is used that we would deem offensive, those words have been replaced with XXX.
On active service
Mrs V.E. Oldfield Headquarters
Sandsend, 5th Division
Near Whitby B.E.F.
April 24. 40
My dearest Mum,
Thank you so much for the two parcel which arrived in fine fettle yesterday, both travelling excellently. The dozen handkerchiefs are absolutely grand and just what I wanted and I will take the greatest care of them and have instructed my old plug to do the same. Thank you dear very much indeed and also for the most excellent cakes – particularly the extra special one. They have travelled perfectly and look
as if they have come straight out of the oven. I will write to Esme and ask her to convey my thanks to the Sandsend Instte. For the No Name. The parcels were grand Mum and I am v. pleased with them indeed.
Regular horse coping going on between you and Morrison and I see there’s only
30/- difference so I expect between you – you’ll do a deal. I hope so as it will be the greatest fun to have a pony and trap and an excellent way of getting round the petrol trouble.
Thank you so much for the Recipes – they will be a great help and relieve me of a lot of work as the Mess Staff seem incapable of thinking of any variety at all.
The recipes are excellent and I can only hope they won’t completely fox the cook – as he is one of the plainest cooks that ever breathed. However I am expecting the French cook back soon from leave and I’m sure he will be able to them.
I have not heard another work about my leave but am still hoping – I think unless anything crops up there’s still a fair chance and will let you know as soon as I can get a line on it. Poor old Colonel Bassett who came out with us at the beginning is still waiting to start his first – which after all we did manage, though weren’t lucky enough to finish it.
Well Mum dear, I have lots to do this morning as I must catch up with my office work, the last two days have been completely filled by a visit from a very distinguished French visitor – a heavy party altogether – which came off yesterday.
Thank you again very very much for the grand handkerchiefs and tremendous good cakes –
My fondest love